The fund was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on March 11, to address the control of migratory pests, animal and zoonotic or trans-boundary animal diseases, and the upgrade of abattoirs.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, had announced the approval of the intervention fund at the launch of the 2020 Dry Season Control of Trans-boundary or Migratory Pests on June 12 in Kebbi State.
In an interview with NAN on Tuesday, the Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services in the Ministry, Dr Alabi Olaniran, provided a breakdown of what the funds would be expended on.
- Of the approved sum, N2.8 billion will be spent on Migratory pest control;
- The sum of N9.6 billion will be spent on the control of animal and zoonotic diseases;
- And N1.4billion will go into the rehabilitation and upgrade of abattoirs in the country.
According to Olaniran, the N2.8billion for control of migratory pests would be disbursed to 12 states –Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi and Zamfara.
The choice of these 12 northern states was guided by the fact that they were entry points for migration of pests from other countries.
He added that no state in the South was chosen because “we are bounded to the South by the sea or ocean, so nothing comes in from there.
“The rest of the funds for control of animal and zoonotic diseases, and the rehabilitation and upgrading of abattoirs would be distributed among all states in the country.”
Control of animal and zoonotic diseases
Olaniran explained thus:
“The second area of intervention is the control of trans-boundary animal diseases, through vaccination and eradication of dog-related human rabies. Because over the years we have been inundated with increasing number of animal diseases and some of these diseases are zoonotic that can also affect human beings.
“And you know that Nigeria is endowed with very large livestock resources and presently diseases are affecting the production level of our animals.”
He stated further that it was the first time ever that the government would be providing funds for control of animal diseases, and that it had become expedient given that many diseases such as COVID-19 were traceable to animals.
Upgrading of abattoirs
Olaniran noted that a lot of abattoirs across the country were in deplorable conditions, which affected the quality of meat that people consumed.
“We are trying to see if we can develop a model. The function is really for the state governments and local governments. We are just trying to see if we can build model standard abattoirs in the states so that the states can see and replicate” he said.
The funds would be disbursed accordingly as soon as the Ministry of finance made the funds available.